But whereas in 1988 a million dead Africans was a figure that could still shock, today the two million southern Sudanese corpses have been submerged by a tidal wave of death that has washed over Africa in the aftermath of the cold war and the dissolution of the post-colonial states. A million dead in Somalia; another million slaughtered in Rwanda; up to three million killed in Congo; hundreds of thousands killed in smaller wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola, Eritrea and Ethiopia; not to mention 17 million dead of AIDS and untold millions felled even in relatively safe countries like Kenya by the everyday scourges of crime and disease. All of this has taken place in the last fifteen years. Even for Africans, it has become a blur. As for the West, we have shut our eyes.

From Deborah Scroggins; Emma’s War (2004)

There is a confirmed pattern of how combatants attack villages, plunder homes, take women as sexual slaves and then set homes alight – often with people in them. Rapes, gang rapes, sexual mutilation, abductions and sexual slavery, as well as killings, have become commonplace in South Sudan. There is no doubt that these crimes are persistent because impunity is so entrenched that every kind of norm is broken.

Yasmin Sooka, Chair of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan (February 21,

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